Higher dietary intake of folate and vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women, according to a study published in the February 2006 American Journal of Epidemiology.
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, Conn., looked for a relationship between intakes of folate and vitamin B6 and colorectal cancer risk among 37,916 women who were at least 45 years of age or greater, free of cardiovascular disease and already enrolled in a randomized trial on aspirin and vitamin E in disease prevention, for an average of 10.1 years.
During follow-up, 220 colorectal adenocarcinoma cases were documented. Total folate and vitamin B6 intakes were not significantly associated with the risk of colorectal cancer; however, dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were significantly inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk among women who were not taking supplements containing folate and vitamin B6.
The researchers concluded these findings suggest that dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women, and noted an alternative explanation for this association may be other factors related to dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6.
Folate, Vitamin B6, Multivitamin Supplements, and Colorectal Cancer Risk in Women
Shumin M. Zhang, Steven C. Moore, Jennifer Lin, Nancy R. Cook, JoAnn E. Manson, I-Min Lee and Julie E. Buring. American Journal of Epidemiology 2006 163(2):108-115.